On August 24, 2021, the Ontario Government issued Ontario Regulation 577/21 amending the existing Rules for Step 3. This is a critical amendment for employers in that it requires that all businesses comply with any advice, recommendations and instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario or by a regional/municipal medical officer of health requiring a COVID-19 vaccination policy.

For employers in the City of Toronto, this is a very important development in the discussion of workplace vaccination policies as the Medical Officer of Health for the City of Toronto, Dr. Eileen de Villa, issued a strong recommendation to employers in the City on August 20, 2021 that they institute workplace vaccination policies and require proof of vaccination for gatherings with 1,000 people or more.

It does not appear these two announcements are unconnected. And the important result is that employers located in the City of Toronto (and all other public health regions where similar guidance might be in place or soon be issued) must now be introducing vaccination policies in their workplaces. 

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